Google is the clear leader in terms of search market share, but will it always be this way? If Google’s dominance of the search market were to ebb what would it mean for your business?
Figures from StatCounter clearly demonstrate Google’s dominance in the world of search, as illustrated in the graph below, showing the last 12 months of UK search market share. Will we see the same balance in 2015 and beyond and should we care?
What’s changing in search?
In November last year there were rumblings that Apple could be moving away from Google as their default search provider in Apple’s Safari browser.
Bing have a foot in the door with Apple, they already provide the search results for Siri, Apple’s personal assistant.
Yahoo have made their own advances on taking a great piece of the search pie – in 2014 Yahoo became the default search provider for Firefox and Google saw a drop in share of US search traffic.
So can Yahoo or Bing replace Google?
Unlikely, in my opinion, at least not in the short term, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore what’s going on.
What impact is there for users?
Most of us carry a smartphone that gives us access to millions of web pages at the swipe of a finger, add that to the time we spend sitting in front of a computer at work and we each have countless hours of potential search time.
Many of us are searching daily for things to make our life easier, quicker or more convenient. The stats show that we’re searching, both on the move and at our desks more and more, there are more than one-hundred billion searches conducted on Google each month.
So for users the change could mean one of two things – we start to use other search providers and are happy with the quality of the results and any change goes largely unnoticed. Or we are dissatisfied and manually change our search provider back to Google – could it be simple familiarity or are the results more to our liking? Time will tell.
What impact will there be for businesses?
This is a bigger question and the answer lies in the reaction of the user. Millions of businesses are actively promoting their products and services through pay per click advertising campaigns. The dominant provider is, of course, Google AdWords. With such a huge proportion of the market share in the UK sitting with Google, AdWords allows businesses to reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers with a single campaign.
So if the balance within the search market changes businesses need to consider the impact on their marketing reach.
Will your customers still find you?
It is unlikely that businesses running PPC campaigns will see a significant change immediately, but you should be watching carefully, and be ready to act.
Regardless of how successful Google AdWords is for your business it is always a good idea to find and refine more than 1 marketing tactic to promote your business, it gives you options should anything change.
For any form of PPC to be highly effective your adverts need to be in front of your desired customers, so make sure your checking where your customers are. Google AdWords is not the only Pay Per Click provider, the same tactic can be utilised on other search and social channels, so if your customers are moving away from Google you need to think about broadening your reach too.
Focus on your customer
Consider where your customers are and what they are doing when you are attempting to connect with them. As an example, if your customers predominantly use social media at home and regular search at work – when would be the best time to show them your product?
Are you using the most appropriate platform for your ads? Are your desired customers actively searching for your product or service, or do you need to present them with the idea and nurture them a little more? What’s the best setting to accomplish this? Regular PPC ads or a persistent social campaign?
As always, testing and measuring is the key
If you’re not sure which platform is best to reach your customers you need to test a few and check the results. It’s easier than you think and can save you time, money and deliver consistently better results. If you want to know more request a free consultation.